Heron and Other Stories. Sarah Orne Jewett .. I caught a glimpse of a white heron a few miles from here on Saturday, and I have followed it in this direction. A WHITE HERON Source for information on A White Heron by Sarah Orne Jewett , Reference Guide to Short Fiction dictionary. Use our free chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis of A White Heron. It helps middle and high school students understand Sarah Orne Jewett’s literary.

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Sylvie could not speak. The guest waked from a dream, and remembering his day’s pleasure hurried to dress himself that it might sooner begin. Where’d she tucked herself away this time, Sylvy?

Some criticism has even acknowledged the fact that the main character of the story may have been loosely based off Jewett’s life growing up. No, she must keep silence! At last the sun came up bewilderingly bright. No amount of thought, that night, could decide how many wished-for treasures the ten dollars, so lightly spoken of, would buy. Perhaps it was only migrating, or had been chased out of its own region by some bird of prey.

Wilkins Freeman, another New England regionalist and a contemporary of Jewett, wrote, “You are lovely to write me so about my stories, but I never wrote any story equal to your ‘White Heron. Sylvia was more alarmed than before. What other aspects should we explore? She was just thinking how long it seemed since she first came to the farm a year ago, and wondering if everything went on in the noisy town just the same as when she was there, the thought of the great red-faced boy who used to chase and frighten her made her hurry along the path to escape from the shadow of the trees.

A Reply to her Critics. That does not mean that Sylvia does not still have feelings of admiration and budding thoughts about her womanhood. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here When it was almost time for the sun to rise, she quietly left her house and hurried through the forest. Other themes explored include the hesitation of actions that might counteract the proceeding industrialization and the recollection of the individual human being as the important actor in society.


Sylvie’s bare feet and tiny fingers grabbed the tree’s rough trunk. Start the Quiz to find out Start Quiz. But the stately head of this old pine towered above them all and made a landmark for sea and shore miles and miles away. Then Sylvia, well satisfied, makes her perilous way down again, not daring to look far below the branch she stands on, ready to cry sometimes because her fingers ache and her lamed feet slip.

Besides, Sylvia had all the time there was, and very little use to make of it. As Uewett climbed slowly down the pine tree, the stranger was waking up back at the farm. She could not understand why he killed the birds he seemed to like so much. Dan an’ his father they didn’t hitch, — but he never held up his head ag’in after Dan had asrah him an’ gone off. Were the birds better friends than their hunter might have been, — who can tell?

Whether it was left for a boundary mark, or for what reason, no one could say; the woodchoppers who had felled its mates were dead and gone long ago, and a whole forest of sturdy trees, pines and oaks and maples, had grown again.

Richard Cary sees Sylvia as undergoing a rite of initiation, a theme that Catherine B.

The golden sun’s rays hit the green forest. Have you seen it, too?

She crept out along the swaying oak limb at last, and b the daring step across into the old pine-tree. Sylvie’s heart began to beat fast. Donovan argues that the story “culminates the antiromance tradition” that is a hallmark of women’s literary realism. This evening it had taken Sylvie longer than usual to find her cow.

They were full of little birds and beasts that seemed to be wide awake, and going about their world, or else saying good-night to each other whige sleepy twitters. Where was the white heron’s nest in the sea of green branches, and was this wonderful sight and pageant of the world the only reward for having climbed to such a ofne height?

Download activities to help you understand this story here. To the west she could see other farms and forests. Pool sees a parallel between Sylvia’s repudiation of mature love and Jewett’s own choice never to marry.


Westward, the woodlands and farms reached miles and miles into the distance; here and there were church steeples, and white villages, truly it was a vast and awesome world. She was glad to have something to do, and she was hungry herself. Whatever treasures were lost to her, woodlands and summer-time, remember!

The cow gave a loud moo by way of explanation. By remaining silent when the man presses her for information about the heron’s nest, she chooses to preserve the heron rather than betray her woodland friend.

‘A White Heron,’ by Sarah Orne Jewett

Sometimes in pleasant weather it was a consolation to look upon the cow’s pranks as an intelligent attempt to play hide and seek, and as the child had no playmates she lent herself to this amusement with a good deal of zest. Embed share A White Heron. Tilley and her granddaughter give the young man shelter for the night.

Howells thinks that this age frowns upon the romantic, that it is no use to write romance any more; but dear me, how much of it there is left in every-day life after all.

Sarah Orne Jewett’s Fairy Tale: “A White Heron”

What is it that suddenly forbids her and makes her dumb? Alas, if the great wave of human interest which flooded for the first time this dull little life should sweep away the satisfactions of an existence heart to heart with nature and the dumb life of the forest!

Iewett strange excitement filled her heart, a new feeling the little girl did not recognize … love.

Tilley doubtfully, in orns to this enthusiastic announcement. Annis Pratt sees the story as a version of the traditional fairy tale, and Theodore Hovet discusses the fairy-tale structure of Jewett’s tale but also gives it a psychoanalytic reading. However, it was not much farther to the house, and the air was soft and sweet. Print this article Print all entries for this topic Cite this article. About an hour later Sylvie appeared.